If you’re suffering from intense, regular headaches that have otherwise eluded diagnosis, they may not be migraines but rather one of the most common symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder (also referred to as TMJ or TMD). In fact, TMJ/TMD is often misdiagnosed as migraines by medical professionals without experience in the field of neuromuscular dentistry because this painful jaw condition shares symptoms with migraines and other ailments including arthritis, sinus infections and gum disease. But if your debilitating headaches are caused by TMJ/TMD, Cedar Rapids dentist Dr. Blaine McLaughlin can determine the source of your pain and devise a custom treatment plan to ease your chronic discomfort. Headaches are the most common symptom of TMJ/TMD, but they are not the only one.

Most people with TMJ/TMD experience multiple signs, including:

  • Face, neck, shoulder and back pain
  • Jaw tension and discomfort
  • Jaw clicking, popping and sticking
  • Earaches or ringing ears
  • Difficulty biting, chewing and swallowing
  • Tingling or numbness in the hands and fingers

TMJ/TMD is centered in the network of nerves, joints, muscles and bones where your jaw connects to your skull. The condition is typically caused by bite conditions or jaw and teeth alignment problems. Temporomandibular joint disorder treatment may be as simple as stopping bad oral health habits such as ice chewing or pen biting. In some cases, TMJ/TMD treatment may require transcutaneous electrical neural stimulation (TENS) to relax your jaw into its natural position; other patients may benefit from oral appliances or orthodontics to correct bite conditions.

If you live in the Marion or Cedar Rapids, Iowa, areas and want to learn more about TMJ/TMD migraines or treatment, please contact Dental Touch Associates to schedule your consultation with Cedar Rapids neuromuscular dentist Dr. Blaine McLaughlin.